Themes from ‘Elections’

“Vote 2018/2020” Theme

The ABC election theme for the 2018 midterms takes advantage of a full orchestra, electronics, and massive percussion section to convey a renewed sense of importance and urgency. Trumpet fanfares, snare drums, and soaring string melodies more in tune with an olympic event, are replaced with a more serious drive and balance the line between urgency and optimism.

DreamArtists Music – Vote 2018/2020 theme

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“This Week” 2012 – 2013 Theme

Since George Stephanopoulos took back the reins of This Week, the well-received “Your Voice, Your Vote” theme was slightly altered to be used as the new theme for This Week. Former World News anchor Charles Gibson provides the voiceover that introduces Stephanopoulos each sunday morning. “Your Voice, Your Vote” is how ABC brands its election coverage for this election year. In prior years their coverage had simply been titled “Vote (fill-in-the-year)”. Along with a new name and new graphics a new theme was needed and so ABC turned once again to DreamArtists Music. This new theme is a new arrangement of the “Vote 2010” theme — a bit more driving and slightly less melodic. This was then spun out into an extensive new package including tracks of various moods and lengths.

DreamArtists Music – Your Voice, Your Vote theme

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“Vote 2010” Theme

This new election theme package (the “Rally” package) was composed by the CCO and Founder of DreamArtists Music, Matthew Kajcienski. The package was launched on the evening of November 2nd, 2010 for the election special hosted by ABC anchors Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos. ABC wanted something “big, bold, fresh, urgent, and exciting” for the new election season leading up to 2012.

DreamArtists Music – Vote 2010 theme

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“Vote 2006/08” Theme

Although there was also a more traditional sounding election theme, this piece of music is most closely associated with ABC’s coverage of the 2006 and 2008 elections. It continued to be used thereafter as a secondary election theme. However, to be completely factual: this theme is part of VideoHelper’s library (it’s called Presidential Persuasion and can be found on disc 29) but ABC uses a custom version that sounds less threatening and less aggressive. The custom version, as you can hear below, has newer strings and the percussion is slightly different. The volume of the percussion was reduced and it was played straight through, not looped like in the library version. For a few years, ABC World News used a headline bed that is derived from the custom version of this theme. The generic version was used by local ABC stations for their election coverage.

VideoHelper – Presidential Persuasion (generic version)
VideoHelper – Presidential Persuasion (custom ABC version)

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“ABC 2000” Theme

To celebrate the start of the year 2000, ABC News sent reporters to notable places in every time zone to cover New Years celebrations. It was a huge operation, with Peter Jennings anchoring for 25 straight hours, that won critical acclaim. They did not attempt to do this again a year later, but created a smaller and more budget-friendly version of this program on New Year’s Eve 2002. This theme was used for these programs. However, it perhaps became most famous as the theme for ABC’s coverage of the historic 2000 election. Since then, it has been brought back occasionally, such as for the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009.

This theme was originally not composed for ABC but for Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The Epcot attraction uses it for their presentation called “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth”. Of course Epcot and ABC-TV are owned by the same company, Walt Disney, so it is not unusual that they share resources. This theme is composed by Gavin Greenaway, who won an Emmy for it.

Gavin Greenaway – IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

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“The ’96 Vote” Theme

From a horse race perspective the 1996 presidential election was a bore. The minute that primary season was over, President Clinton seemed to be cruising to reelection, beating Bob Dole. Nonetheless, ABC commissioned a new election theme by Score Productions. It was resurrected in 2004, Peter Jennings’ last election night broadcast, after being absent for two election cycles. World News Tonight would start using a variation of this theme for its broadcast from 1996 to 1998.

Score Productions – The ’96 Vote theme

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